The indian comfort food which we all have grown up with is Dal and chawal, right from the time when we are babies, we are fed dal and khicadi, wholesome food and protein packed. Dal or lentils, as it is known in the west is a must at almost every meal in India. It is the source of protein for most vegetarians. There being a vast variety of lentils, each having a different texture after being cooked , gives options to the home makers in giving a varied menu to her family,. Of course each region or for that matter home, will surely have their own favourite dal. The south indians, love their sambhars and rasams both made of Tur dal or split pigeon peas, but having a different texture, while a sambhar is thick , rasams are like a thin spicy broth. The north Indians love the whole moong dal , which is cooked to a creamy thick consistency and served in the Gurudwara at langars, which is a community kitchen where meals are served free of charge.And so on, the ways of cooking the humble lentils differ from state to state, in some parts of India, dal is cooked on a charcoal flame or sigris, for a few hours gently simmering away to give a beautiful aromatic and creamy result. Dal is mostly eaten with rice or sometimes with some indian flat bread like chappatis or parathas. The Indians love their dal, to the extent of incorporating it into their desserts like the maharashtrain puran poli, which is an Indian flatbread stuffed with a boiled and mashed chana dal which has jaggery and cardamon powder added to it, when well made it literally melts in the mouth. And the Bengal moong daaler payesh which has a creamy consistency and is made with milk, moong dal and jaggery.
Dal in the sindhi home which has received world wide fame is the Dal Pakwan, a dish of simple boiled chana dal topped with a sweet and sour chutney and onion relish or kechumbo as its called in sindhi and served with a pakwan which is a cummin flavoured flat bread deep fried to a crunchy crispness. The pleasure derived in every bite of the contrasting textures is what has made this breakfast dish so popular. Today I will share with you a simple coconut dal recipe, It is a recipe given in our cooking group, by our group member Neetu. I have tweaked the recipe a little and made a few changes. Do try this amazing dal, which can be eaten with rice or phulkas. The addition of coconut cream takes its texture to a new level..
1/2 cup yellow moong dal, soaked and boiled to a mushy consistency.
6 tbsps of fresh grated coconut
4 dry red chillies, broken into pieces
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsps coconut cream [ I used kara]
2 tbsps coconut oil
Ingredients for tempering
1 sliced big onion
3 whole dry red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cummin seeds
1/4 tsp hing or asafoetida
A sprig of curry leaves
1 tbsp of ghee
Boil and mash the dal, keep on a simmer.
In another pan,add coconut oil and grated coconut.. saute for a while and add the broken red chillie and garlic, saute till fragrant. grind this mixture with a little water till smooth and add to the dal along with the turmeric powder, season to taste with salt.
At this point, your dal will be a pretty peach colour., simmer for abt 5 mins more.
Add coconut cream, check the consistency of the dal which should not be watery .
Next, heat ghee in a seperate small pan and add mustard and cummin seeds to the hot ghee, also add the sliced onions, curry leaves, hing and whole red chillies.. saute till fragrant and add this tempering to the simmering dal.
Serve dal with rice or phulkas.. enjoy.